Who can be the Ipswich Town hero against Leeds and Norwich, in Tom Lawrence's absence?
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With Tom Lawrence suspended for the East Anglian derby at Norwich and Town's home game with play-off chasing Leeds on Saturday, CHRIS BRAMMER looks at who could grab star billing instead
Town’s talisman during his first full season at Portman Road, McGoldrick has showed glimpses of that form in recent weeks, and set up Ipswich’s winner, scored by Emyr Huws, at Aston Villa.
Has been desperately unlucky with injuries since arriving in Suffolk on a permanent basis but, fully-fit, is arguably Town’s most creative player, Lawrence aside.
A survivor of the Blues’ play-off heartache at the hands of the Canaries, McGoldrick has linked up well with Lawrence in recent games, and would relish the responsibility of being the Blues’ main creative source again, in the Welshman’s absence.
The Jersey-born striker is another player to have been hit hard by injuries this season.
Pitman averages a goal just over every four games and netted 11 times in his debut season, while he has scored four times in 12 appearances this season.
Knows where the net is, but there is more to his game than goalscoring – the 29-year-old is adept at dropping deep, holding the ball up and instigating Ipswich attacks.
Has a little bit of devilment in his play which is always good in high-octane battles, provided it is controlled.
Scored in Ipswich’s 2-1 win over Leeds last season.
Burst onto the scene at Town with nine goals in 21 games, as the Blues won a play-off place at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Scored just eight times in 78 games though since the start of last season, albeit he has regularly been deployed in a more withdrawn attacking role, rather than playing as a main striker.
Desperate for a goal, Sears’s pace and trickery, on top form, is a test for any Championship defence and he could be restored to his favoured position alongside McGoldrick.
A substitute in recent weeks, Sears’ window in which to take his chance is a small one with Lawrence destined to return to the side against Brentford.
Something of an unknown quantity, Rowe was signed from non-league Macclesfield Town, towards the end of the January transfer window.
Has yet to play for the first team, but McCarthy has high hopes for the winger, who starred in Town Under-23s 8-0 hammering of their Watford counterparts a week last Monday.
Will draw comparisons with current Burton Albion winger Michael Kightly, who McCarthy signed from Grays Athletic when he was Wolves manager.
Town fans will be hoping he is as successful, with Kightly scoring twice in five loan appearances for Wolves towards the end of 2006, before signing permanently and kicking on, netting a further six times as they reached the Championship play-offs.
Has been struggling with a slight groin injury but could be fit for Saturday.
If not, then the Norwich game would be a dream debut for the 24-year-old and how he would go down in Blues folklore if he set up or scored the winning goal.
A hat-trick in 45 minutes on his debut set the tone for Ward, who followed that up with some good, early-season performances.
However, he failed to maintain his initial form and has been in and out of manager Mick McCarthy’s first-team plans.
Got his chance again after an injury to Cole Skuse at home to Reading, and hasn’t really looked back, linking up well in a three-man midfield with Town new-boys, Emyr Huws and Toumani Diagouraga.
Stared his career as a midfielder, but played more as a winger and further forward at Town, Ward comes alive around the 18-yard box.
He could well be asked to fill the void left by Lawrence.
Has the ability to replicate Lawrence’s high standards and a goal could see his performances go up a notch between now and the end of the season.
A so-far excellent acquisition on-loan from Cardiff, the classy Huws will have to show his combative qualities in the next two games, with Diagouraga missing against parent club, Leeds, and then in the heat of a derby battle, but will still be expected to get forward.
Already has one goal to his name in three appearances.